CWC II ETA?

Started by Zookie, 06 April 2021, 08:01:37 PM

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Battleback

Quote from: Big Insect on 10 September 2021, 09:59:10 AM
Sounds very much where my thinking was going Battleback

And yes I meant T80 (not T70)  :D
I think it makes sense to break up the periods in the rules. It seems there are 3 distinct levels of technology when it comes to the cold war. And breaking it up will make setting up games easier.

I look forward to reading the rules! I would definitely buy into a pre-order if Leon decides to do one; especially if it included a Patton tank 😉

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Raider4

Basically breaking it down to whether the British were fielding Centurion, Chieftain or Challenger then?
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Big Insect

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flamingpig0

Do the new rules go up to the 1st  Gulf War and si it going to include army lists or will the army lists be online?
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Leon

I think the plan is to cut off around 1990 but there will be lists available for the 1st Gulf War.  The lists will all be online downloads rather than in the book, so we can add and edit those whenever needed.
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fred.

Quote from: Leon on 18 October 2021, 01:06:38 PM
I think the plan is to cut off around 1990 but there will be lists available for the 1st Gulf War.  The lists will all be online downloads rather than in the book, so we can add and edit those whenever needed.

Can I suggest that you include a few lists in the book - mainly from the ability to provide a complete package in one book?

I get that having the majority of the army lists online makes a lot of sense - for a lot of reasons - but its a bit disappointing to get a nice new rule book and then not have any example army lists to use as reference whilst you are going through the rules.
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Steve J

I'd agree with having a few lists in the book, say Vietnam, one of the Arab-Israeli Wars and the 'classic' 1980's Cold War core forces.
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paulr

Quote from: Steve J on 18 October 2021, 06:08:28 PM
I'd agree with having a few lists in the book, say Vietnam, one of the Arab-Israeli Wars and the 'classic' 1980's Cold War core forces.

So a few = at least 15 :-\

The challenge is once you add one or two there are so many more people would want...
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Ithoriel

For me, the attraction of BKC was the "all in one book" approach.

Printed rules with online army lists would definitely turn me off.

There again the period to be covered by CWC doesn't interest me so I guess I am not the target audience.
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fred.

By a few, I meant the main lists for one conflict. Not list for multiple conflicts.
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flamingpig0

Quote from: fred. on 18 October 2021, 05:51:56 PM
Can I suggest that you include a few lists in the book - mainly from the ability to provide a complete package in one book?

I get that having the majority of the army lists online makes a lot of sense - for a lot of reasons - but its a bit disappointing to get a nice new rule book and then not have any example army lists to use as reference whilst you are going through the rules.

I would agree with that
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Leon

18 October 2021, 11:24:57 PM #41 Last Edit: 09 January 2022, 04:17:53 PM by Leon
Yeah, we thought this might prove contentious...!  The problems with putting the lists in the book are multiple and some of them are quite a big issue:

Size/Weight - The bigger the book the higher the print costs and the more they cost to post out.  Currently I think a copy of BKC costs us about £11 to ship to the States so it's not far off 50% of the price of the book.  We're right on the weight boundary as well, so if the same book creeps over 750g the shipping costs suddenly jump to £20+.  With shipping costs going up sharply at the moment this is only going to get worse in coming years.  At the moment we're charging £8 postage for those customers so we lose £3 per BKC, but that could be a £12+ loss per book which isn't ideal.  We could charge more for the shipping but the sales would be reduced as a result, which isn't great either. 

Making the lists separate would reduce print costs by about 40% as well, allowing us to bring the price of the rulebook down.

Updates - As always, there'll be updates and errata for the army lists down the line.  With online lists we can update them whenever we like and folks can get the latest versions by clicking a button, rather than needing to go through and annotate a physical copy.  It also means that each list can be as comprehensive as we want without it affecting page counts and print costs.

Expansion - With online lists we can have extensive lists for multiple conflicts and theatres without any problems.  We could have 100 army lists if we want to without it resulting in a massive printed tome that won't fit through your letterbox.

The plan was for the lists to be available as simple pdf files for folks to download and print at home, or use on a tablet/computer instead.  We would also offer all army lists in a hardcopy version direct from us, for a nominal 30p-50p, where we'd print and supply them as we would any other order.  So you could buy the book and printed Vietnam lists for £20-ish and away you go.  If you decide to do the Arab-Israeli conflicts you could get those printed lists for less than £1.

We could put some lists in there but then the debate over which ones begins.  If it's Cold War Commander then the Cold War lists seems appropriate but we don't have figure ranges to support those yet.  We could put the Vietnam lists in there instead but then folks will ask why the Cold War lists aren't present... 

If this is going to be a massive issue for folks then we can discuss it by all means but having the rules + lists in one book is adding costs for everyone and we wanted to try and bring those down as much as possible.

This was also going to be the method for the next BKC printrun, which I was going to send off next month. 
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paulr

Quote from: fred. on 18 October 2021, 09:18:32 PM
By a few, I meant the main lists for one conflict. Not list for multiple conflicts.

I thought you did Fred, the challenge is of course which conflict and then how many lists you need....

I hope my comment didn't come across as snarky, it was intended to illustrate the challenge

I think separate lists is the best option but I am not really the target audience; I use another rule system for WWII & Moderns  :o :-[
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sultanbev

I'm all for keeping the lists separate from the rules, as everyone will have their favourite unit missed off their particular list, so having downloadable lists makes them easy to update.
It also makes the rules book lighter, which is always a bonus if you're going to and from club meets.

I always follow the mantra that rules are rules, data is data, and altering/updating the latter should not alter the former. If it does that's bad writing.

If your rules book has 100 lists in, but you'll only be using one particular one on that night, why carry the other 99? Also leaving out the lists means you can ensure you have enough space for all the rules you want to include.

I also think of the Cold War as split into broad decadal themes - 1956, 1967, 1973, 1985, 1989-90ish, but when you get into the nitty-gritty of organisations, even 1983 is different from 1985.

Maybe people aren't really asking for army lists in the book, but vehicle/gun/infantyr/aircraft stats, so you could have 3 lists of data, rather than organisational lists - NATO, Warpac/China, Non-aligned, each detailing all the relevant vehicles, infantry platoons, guns and planes. However each list would be huge! But still a lot less space than choosing a selection of theatre specific lists....

Big Insect

19 October 2021, 09:55:17 AM #44 Last Edit: 19 October 2021, 09:59:03 AM by Big Insect
ONLINE or PRINTED ARMY LISTS

I think all the comments above illustrate some of the challenges that Leon & I have been working with around CWCII.

One of the advantage of the on-line lists is likely to be (subject to programming capability) an easy to use (and correct/update) online army list calculator resource, that links into the army lists.
This will allow quicker game prep and the ability for players to 'play-around' with formations etc. and then print them out.
Due to the way the new army lists have been developed, by cross-referencing a data-base of standard vehicle stats, printing off specific lists may be possible - but we need to check that out. But even if it was I'd suggest that that needs to be done on an individual basis.

I/we had considered putting a couple of lists in the rules book as examples.
However, as we have broken down the single NATO and Warsaw Pact lists, that were in CWC I, into their distinctive component parts in CWC II, having just a single NATO and Warsaw Pact list printed in CWC II (which would have been my original intention) is no longer possible. But I can look at this, as we will need something in the rules that explains how the army lists work and interface with the main body of the rules.

Normally, I'm all for having lists and rules in a single hard-copy document, but with CWC II, due to the volume of data involved, this is (as Leon has stated very eloquently) impractical for lots of reasons. With hindsight I wish we'd treated BKCIV in the same way.

I suppose there might be an option to set up a printed army list on a print-on demand basis (LuLu?) but that would be very much a future project and one we would need to consider very carefully, due to the on-going work/economics involved in maintaining it.

HISTORICAL SCOPE
As previously stated - my own preference is to keep the rules to a defined Cold War era timeframe.
So to me that starts with the end of WW2 and ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall & Soviet led communism (Nov.89) and possibly the collapse of the Soviet Union (Dec'91).

I view the 1st Gulf War (2 Aug 1990 – 28 Feb 1991) as a very separate/distinctive step in the evolution of modern warfare (primarily due to command & control) and one that needs its own separate supplement (at some point).
The challenge of extending the rules is primarily around the use of a single d:6 combat dice and the extent to which you can squeeze that mechanism to cope with a post-war T34/85 at one end of the time-frame and an Abrahams at the other!

As previously stated in this thread I also see the big steps in the evolution of armoured warfare (in this period) broken down into 3 large phases (whilst totally agreeing with Sultanbev on his 5 stages). The fact that these 3 stages coincide (broadly) with the development of British Main Battle Tanks (Centurion, Chieftain and Challenger) is coincidental. However, this sub-divisioning (is that a word?) is unlikely to play a major part in shaping the rules or lists, but just helps to orientate a brand new Cold War player to the shape of the era and the forces they may wish to create.

There are also (potentially) likely to be Supplements to cope with specific wars/campaigns (Southern Africa) and areas of potential conflict that are off the normal cold war map - such as South America (for example). After all, whilst there were some very real actual wars/conflicts with the period - this set of rule is primarily aimed at the potential conflict, that never thankfully happened, between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, in Central and Western Europe.

Hopefully that is helpful

Mark
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.